Politics

Democrats Blame Trump for High Gas Prices

Meanwhile, Dems regularly call for more tax hikes on gasoline.

Thomas Gallatin · May 25, 2018

Gas prices across the nation have been steadily rising and have now reached levels not seen since November 2014. The average price of gas this week is $2.92 per gallon, 55 cents higher than this time last year. And while summer gas price hikes are nothing unusual, the fact of the matter is it’s an election year and Democrats are looking for any political narrative to spin in their favor.

Lobbing baseless accusations from the political peanut gallery, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) bloviated, “President Trump’s reckless decision to pull out of the Iran deal has led to higher oil prices.” He continued, “These higher oil prices are translating directly to soaring gas prices, something we know disproportionately hurts middle and lower income people.” Ah, so “controlling” the inherently uncontrollable and regularly fluctuating price of gas is more important than pulling out of a terrible deal that did nothing but give cover to a villainous, terror-funding regime on its march toward nuclear weapons? Schumer’s simply trying to kill two birds with one stone. That’s because he’s worried that the widely anticipated “blue wave” may prove to be nothing more than a ripple.

So why do gas prices fluctuate so regularly, and why in particular do they rise during the summer months? First, the leading factor in the price of gas is OPEC. In November 2016, OPEC decided to limit oil production with the express purpose of increasing the price. Second, the EPA requires refiners to change their gas formulas in the spring to accommodate air-quality regulations, driving up production costs, which are then passed on to the consumer. And finally, economics 101 — America’s growing economy has increased the demand for gas, which in turn raises the price. None of these factors are directly controlled by this or any president.

In fact, the only real direct control politicians have over the price of gas is via taxation. Ironically, while Schumer and his fellow Democrats are running around blaming Trump and Republicans for higher gas prices, the fact is Democrats have for years advocated raising gas taxes. As Investor’s Business Daily notes, “As recently as 2015, Democrats were pushing to nearly double the federal gasoline tax. At the time, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that it was the perfect time to do so because ‘if there’s ever going to be an opportunity to raise the gas tax, the time when gas prices are so low — oil prices are so low — is the time to do it.’” Democrat-controlled states like California already have raised gas taxes.

So the next time you fill up and wince at the price, remember just how much of the price is already due to Democrat taxes, and how much higher they’d prefer those prices to be.

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